I stayed in Dammam city, Gulf area, for three days (13-15 June) to attend a scientific forum on developing quality education. I also presented a paper named: Project-based Elearning. Although the organizers were not so experienced, they did their best to enhance the event. Many sessions were talking about gifted or talented students and how to deal with their talents. Dr Sylvia Rimm, who is a pioneer gifted student researcher, presented some useful guidelines. She says that not all our gifted students are successful, they may become a failure. We need to understand the pressure to be popular and we have to provide different activities for them. Parents should be balanced towards their children as well as they should express respect to child’s teachers and school. We have to teach the student to “do his best” not to “be the best.” Also we should educate them that sometimes they are going to lead but other times they should be good followers.
Another Professor, Dr Abdullah, from “Mawheba” research center, has developed a measurement battery, Aurora, in cooperation with Yale University. Most important about it that it measures child abilities from an integrated point of view: Individual or groups, tested or observed, tangible or intangible starting as early as 3 years old. He presented a significant notion which is “Successful people don’t only just have abilities, they reflect on when and how to use them effectively and appropriately.”
The remark I wished I am wrong about is that rarely you hear something about innovation in E-learning and use of technology. Only Dr Phil Cogan, From New Zealand, speaks about complicated Matrix of ICT’s schools. Dr Phil Cogan from Newzealnd summarized his research on Matrix of ICT schools development by claiming that ICT is the driver of our changing educational landscape. I agree but adding a phrase indicating that how human perceives this ICT is the driver of that massive change.
My own paper speaks about how to infuse Project Management in Elearning. I presented a case study I have been working on for two years. In ordinary management of Elearning, you find a unit with sufficient technical guys who provide solutions for the end user; teachers and students. However, we suggest a different model. Elearning consultant (not necessarily from IT department) along with some teachers and students should compose a unified team to lead a temporarily project to implement the solution.
Who should be the project manager? The Elearning consultant is the direct answer but not always the best one. The teacher or sometimes the student can be the project manager. We have an example with one of the case study work packages where a grade-5 student was a team leader (sub-project manager) for victorious work.